Transportation Tips In and Around Paris

Arts & Metiers metro station for transportation postA party of five is visiting from Madrid, Spain. Should they rent a car, take the RER, take a bus between the airport and Nation? These are questions one normally asks when arriving in a new city. The answer? Share a taxi (van) from G7 sharing: one price (currently 45 euros), one destination, reserve on line. Want to be by yourself? Fixed Taxi Fares

Should they rent a car or take the RER C to Versailles palace: My advice, if you drive, you must find the parking. Less complicated is to buy a Mobilis day-pass ticket and take the RER C to Versailles-Rive Gauche.

Name the scenario, RATP has a solution

Visiting Paris is RATP’s Parisian kit with numerous hints to explore, including a helpful app “without eating up all your data!”. Want to use a top-up style card? Try the Navigo Découverte. Read Ben’s web page on Paris by Train in English for more details on the Découverte and Weekly pass.

The RATP pages below are mostly available in French, English and Spanish. Some include other languages. The RATP is the Régie autonome des transports parisiens and was created in 1949 to insure and oversee all public transportation. Up until 1944, the companies were private enterprises.

Image from RATP website shows travel zones inside and outside ParisRATP information

Tickets and passes catered for you
RATP tickets explained
Planning your itinerary
RATP under 26
RATP apps for smartphones

RATP – Metro Interactive Map
RATP Traffic information (in French only)
RATP Grand Plan Bus avec rues (with streets)
RATP Grand Plan Metro avec rues (with streets)

Airports

RER (airports, Versailles, Disney, day trips outside Paris centre, etc.)

      • When using the RER to reach Paris or starting in Paris for another destination (airport, for example) your RER ticket is valid for a metro transfer (but not for a bus transfer). Even if you leave the RER station, your ticket is valid.
      • Transilien/SNCF Website for general route planning outside Paris (available in French, English and Spanish)
      • When using the RER to reach Paris or starting in Paris for another destination (airport, for example) your RER ticket is valid for a metro transfer (but not for a bus transfer). Even if you leave the RER station, your ticket is valid.
      • Keywords translated from the Ile-de-France network maps page
      • Agencies SNCF = SNCF Train offices
        Francilien = Ile-de-France
        Gare = train station
        Noctilien = night transport
        Plans = maps
        Réseau = network
        Tarifaires = tarifs
        Téléchargez = download
  • Find a Taxi
  • Catch the Montmartre Electric Bus (Montmartrobus)Buying Train Tickets to Italy
  • How do I get from A to B?

Sightseeing

I found that the QR Code Reader on iTunes (free) is very handy for traveling by bus in Paris. Bus stops have a GPS connection and the next two buses register your wait time.

Paying for your ticket

Use Euros in cash or change at the ticket dispenser in the metro. For US credit cards, even with a chip, go to the window.

Credit cards without the smart chip (puce) are permitted at the metro information window. The attendants are getting better with their English to answer your questions.

Ticket t+ tips or passes

The carnet is a pack of ten tickets. The “Ticket t+” are good for Paris transportation: buses, metros, electric bus through Montmartre (Montmartrobus), the tramway, and the RERs within Paris. You have 90 minutes to make transfers using the same ticket from a carnet. Tickets purchased on the bus are not valid for transfers.

If you plan four days in Paris, I would suggest buying the weekly pass Navigo Semaine. Otherwise, the Mobilis (day card) is a great value.

From this station to that station
Metro, RER and Tram information on “RATP News” at the RATP. Follow their tweets at @GroupeRATP

Sightseeing Outside Paris with Transilien (trains) using the Navigo Monthly or Annual Passes or Mobilis

Chateau de Versailles   (RER C – Direction Versailles-Rive Gauche) – use the Zone 1-5 Mobilis

Château de Fontainebleau  (Train R from Gare de Lyon + shuttle bus) – use the Zone 1-5 Mobilis